USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo and USA Basketball Men’s National Team head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University) announced at the conclusion of today’s National Team mini-camp in Las Vegas, Nev., that Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves), winners of gold medals at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and 2012 London Olympics, had confirmed they planned to be part of the USA Basketball National Team program through 2016 and will participate in next year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup that will be held Aug. 30-Sept. 14, 2014, in Spain.
“Kevin Durant and Kevin Love have officially announced that they will be a part of our future going forward, including the World Cup next summer, and it means a great deal to us because of how committed they are to our program and we are very appreciative of their early commitment,” said Colangelo when speaking to media following Wednesday’s USA National Team mini-camp practice. “We think it will certainly send a message to some of our other guys, who have indicated they are interested, and so we are very excited.”
“To represent your country, you can’t really take that for granted, so I knew last summer I was going to commit and play this next World Cup,” said Durant, who averaged a U.S. team high 19.5 points per game at the 2012 Olympics and who was named MVP of the 2010 World Championship after posting 22.8 points a game. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity, man, playing against the best in the world with the best in the world, so it should be fun.”
The 6′10″ Love, who averaged 11.6 points and a team leading 7.6 rebounds per game during the 2012 Olympics, echoed Durant’s comments, stating, “K.D. mentioned it, just being a part of USA Basketball has meant a lot for my career. I’ve been a part of the World Championship team in 2010 and the 2012 Olympic Team in London, just coming off of last summer and then heading forward, just being a part of the family. Jerry and Coach keep mentioning being part of the USA Basketball family, and heading forward we are looking for bigger and brighter things.”
“It’s an exciting day and no more appropriate time to do it than when we are also adding this influx of new, young talent,” said USA and Duke University mentor Krzyzewski. ”For these veterans, although they are not old guys yet, for these veterans to make that commitment is a huge step. You have gold medal winners in two events. Both of them were 21-year-old guys when we won in Istanbul (2010 FIBA World Championship) and then at 23 they won gold medals (in the 2012 London Olympic Games). They now are the leadership. They are part of the leadership of our program, and they’ve been committed. Kevin (Durant), this is the first camp that we’ve been involved in that he hasn’t been a participant. So, he started when we as 17. He (Kevin Love) started when we was young. It’s the program that Jerry has started since he took over, and it’s paying a lot of dividends. So, it’s an exciting day for USA Basketball; a big day.”
The announcement came in Las Vegas following the final USA National Team mini-camp practice session. The mini-camp, which opened July 22, will close with the 2013 USA Basketball Showcase, a blue-white intra-squad game on Thursday, July 25, 6 p.m. PDT at the Thomas & Mack Arena on the campus of UNLV.